We Are Coming Soon
January 5th to 7th 2024
Who: This is open to all aged 11-18.
Where: The Sir John Lowther Scout Centre, Kettering, Northamptonshire
When: 5th to 7th January 2024
Overnighters, arrive from 5 p.m. Friday 5th January for a welcome and buffet dinner at 6 p.m., pick up 5 p.m. Sunday.
Those with Daytime tickets are asked to arrive by 9.15 a.m. for a 9.30 a.m. start, but you are welcome to join us for breakfast which is 8.30 a.m. each day. You can join us on Friday evening, or just for Saturday and Sunday. Please be picked up by 9 p.m. latest each evening – you can stay for dinner and the evening activities, or head off before dinner if you think someone else’s cooking will be better than ours.
You’ll probably find you want to stay for the meals as they’re sociable and the food is good.
£275 for full residential tickets (bedding is provided).
£249 for earlybird tickets
£160 for day tickets (all activities and meals, but staying elsewhere with family)
In all cases, a £50 deposit secures your place
Where you’ll be sleeping:
You’ll be sleeping in rooms that have between 2 and 6 beds with those of the same gender and roughly same age. Non-binary people let us know what you’re comfortable with. The venue provide pillows, duvets etc. and covers. If you know someone else who is coming and you’d particularly like to share a room with them, let us know and we’ll do our best to make the jigsaw work.
What we’re doing:
We've got a record thirteen different courses to choose from this time! These are all half-day courses, morning or afternoon (except the Dungeon Master Masterclass which is two half-days) so you’ll get to do four or three of them. We’ll ask you to pick eight out of the list, ranking your choices, and then we’ll do a complicated jigsaw of people’s choices to please as many people as much as possible. In the evenings we’ll be doing other stuff either together or with choices you can make on the day. Here's the final, full list of options!
Technic LEGO Bomb Engineering
Think you know LEGO? In this course, take the familiar bricks and blocks to the next level with three-dimensional, engineering-based puzzles. Be warned – they are so fiendish that even building one won’t teach you how to defuse it… With new, practical knowledge of the physical principles at work in the cams, bearings and levers embedded within these boggling constructions, you’ll try to design your own to befuddle others.
Dungeon Master Masterclass (WHOLE DAY COURSE)
The Dungeon Master (DM) in Dungeons & Dragons, or Game Master (GM) in any of your favourite tabletop/pen-and-paper role-playing games, is a dizzying combination of world-builder, storyteller, referee, actor, director, teacher and improviser. Come learn the tips and tricks of successful DM/GM-ing and put together your very own fantasy adventure! To provide time to create and share your encounters, this course will last two sessions, probably morning and afternoon of the same day. (Scroll down for more D&D)
Debating: Defence Against the Dark Arts
Untruths can often be made to sound reasonable using clever, persuasive language. This is a "know your enemy" course about the dark arts of rhetoric, sophistry and logical fallacies, in which you will create your own deceptions and delusions so that you can better see through the ones you encounter. Because you'd never, ever, want to use a dodgy rhetorical technique to persuade someone, would you - you're far too noble a soul for such sordid things as flattering your audience...
Sock It To 'Em
There's something magical about puppets. Whether it's Sesame Street, Avenue Q, Indonesian shadow puppet theatre, or just a sock with google eyes, they can take on a life of their own that is captivating for the audience and freeing for the performer. We'll look at some examples of puppetry, make our own and see what happens the puppets meet one another in improvised or scripted scenes, or who they turn out to be when they tell their stories.
For this course, we've obtained some of the most complex instruction-processing hardware and software combinations ever created - you! First, create a language of commands that your Hubot will understand, then create code in that language for it to execute as it carries out tasks of increasing complexity. Human robots have the advantage that they can feed back to their programmers why they got stuck, so you can keep improving your code, and your language, ready for the next challenge. You'll spend most of your time programming, taking it in turns to switch into the robot role - and switch off all your human knowledge of what your programmer wants you to do, following the code wherever it leads you...
The pandemic put the the world of viruses, vaccines and epidemiologists centre stage. In this course, through a series of games that mimic disease spread, mutations, immunity, vaccination and so on, you'll explore how small changes in microbes, whether bacteria, viruses or archaea, can make a big difference, and how things get that much more complicated with parasites and pathogens that piggyback on animal vectors to get to their next victim – bubonic plague, anyone? See what strategies work, or don't, to contain these various nasties - the biology of microbes, without the microscopes.
Schools of Acting
Different actors work through very different methods, including "The Method". In this course, you'll get a taste of some different "schools" of acting that have very different ideas about how to get into character, and even about the nature of acting itself. You'll emerge with some techniques you can use when you're performing, or doing improv, and with a better insight into the actor's art.
Chess, But Not As We Know It
The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants lists over 2,000 variations of the ancient game. We'll experiment with doubles chess, three-dimensional chess and one of the most popular variations, Gliński's hexagonal chess which amssed half a million players, create our own variations and pose the question, what is it about the traditional version of chess that has consistently checkmated the others out of any lasting popularity? You don't need to be a good chess player to participate, as the weird nature of the games will be a great leveller of different levels of experience, but please pick up the basic rules of the game in advance.
Down to Clown
Have you ever thought you're a total idiot! Good news! You probably are. There’s a whole world of beautiful performance to be made if we can get in touch with our magnificent inner idiot, take a risk, follow our impulse and find the pleasure in playing from exactly who we are. Learn to be open in front of an audience and then make them wet themselves by showing them how stupid you (and only you) can be.
Shakespeare, Keats, Hopkins, Yeats, Frost, Brooks, Rich, Collins. No poetic form is more recognisable than the sonnet. One of the oldest verse forms of the post-classical world, and one of the briefest. A mere fourteen lines, fashioned by intricate rhymes, it is “a monument’s monument.” Both challenging and liberating, learn how to wrestle and release your contemplations, introspections and expressions of passion into this vigorous and time-honoured form.
The Ultimate "Me-time"
People try bizarre things in the pursuit of happiness. Most of them involve spending lots of money, or travelling lots of miles, or both. But what if you could find a greater sense of tranquillity where you are, right now? Even better - it requires no equipment, costs nothing and has been tried and tested for thousands of years? Join Tom, a regular at the London Buddhist Centre, for an introduction to mindfulness and meditation. It’s not exactly “switching off”, but a chance to observe your thoughts, feelings and emotions and find some inner peace whilst the world swirls around us. We’ll be drawing on Buddhist teachings, traditions and practice as we find our own headspace. You won’t gain enlightenment (even the Buddha took years), you mightfall asleep, and you will leave feeling a bit calmer and ready to take on the world (or lunch. Whichever comes first.)
Games from across the Globe
Ever wondered how people entertain themselves in other countries? Well, I can tell you. They’re on their phones. But what about before phones? How did they pass the time? They invented some very inventive games - and these games still exist today. We’ve got an awesome venue where we can try Kabbadi - a staple of Indian society involving raiders, defenders, and an awful lot of jumping around. Or maybe Palla - the Tuscan forerunner to tennis played in car parks, where parked cars, and even unsuspecting pedestrians, were all considered “in play”. Or how about Oina, a Romanian game where the batsperson is also the wicket! Join us for some of these and some more too.
A weekender woudn't be a weekender without the opportunity for some D&D - every time a new adventure. If you’ve never tried Dungeons & Dragons before, this session is an ideal time to try it out; if you have, you’ve probably signed up already! Join others in a fantasy role-playing micro-adventure to enjoy face-to-face with an expert Dungeon Master (DM). Bring a character you've already created for our online classes or be someone new. New adventurers, you'll have a chance to check in with our DM before the session to talk you through the basics so you are ready for the adventure!